When it comes to planning kids birthday parties, things can get pretty costly! I have always loved planning my kids parties, but I don’t just have an endless budget. I’d like to share some tips that have helped keep costs down, but still given my kids the kind of party that they wanted and deserved!
It’s THEIR birthday party, not yours! The first thing to remember is that although you are the one planning the party, it’s not about you. There are so many great resources when it comes to planning the perfect party, but it’s important to remember that our kids could care less about how cute the invitations look, or how perfectly everything coordinates. (Hear this: I am a sucker for a cute invitation AND a party with a theme that is carried throughout, but when it comes to kids parties, those things aren’t always going to be on the top of my list).
Pin all the things! We all know it. We all love it. So use it. Start a board for “Kids Birthday Parties” and go to town! The ideas are endless, and the best part is that you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. I especially love looking for DIY ideas to help bring down the cost. There are some things that I would prefer to buy if I don’t have the time to devote to making them, but a lot things can be handmade. Making certain decorations, food, party favors (more on that later) when made yourself can all help keep costs down.
Work smarter, not harder. We’ve probably all heard this in one setting or another, but I think this can easily apply to birthday party planning. For me, working smarter would be finding a cute online invitation that I can easily email to each guest. I like these particular sites because they are free and they have a great selection of invitations to choose from: Evite and Punchbowl. Sending out virtual invites helps save money that you would spend on buying actual invitations and postage! Plus, it’s super easy!
Find a FREE location. This can be as simple as hosting a party in your own home (or backyard), or maybe a close relative/friend would let you host at their place if the location and size work better. Depending on the weather, a park can also be a fantastic place for a birthday party. Some parks do require that you reserve their shelters if you plan on using one, but there isn’t always a fee and if there is, it typically isn’t too much. We had one of my sons’ birthdays at Chick Fil A and let me tell you, it was A M A Z I N G! First, who doesn’t love CFA?! Second, it’s free, and there is a place for all of the kids to play. Third, if you’re lucky (or even ask) maybe the famous cow would make an appearance. (We did not do this, because my children are terrified of him!) All I did was call a few weeks ahead of time to let them know I would be hosting a birthday party and asked if I could reserve a few tables for that morning (Saturday morning was the perfect time). A tray of chicken minis and a fruit tray was all I ordered from them and I brought my own cupcakes and juice boxes. Done and done!
Make your own food and/or cake. This is pretty self-explanatory and definitely helps cut down on costs.
Troll all Mom Swap pages, Facebook Marketplace, Buy/Sell Apps, Craigslist and even Goodwill. Now, I am a huge fan of mom swap pages and I definitely don’t mind doing some thrift shopping if it’s going to save me money. I’ve seen countless posts of people selling entire sets of birthday supplies for CHEAP! If you think about it, that makes so much sense. You only use this stuff for a few hours on one day, and then what? Look for leftover decorations and on the flip side, when you are done with yours, stick them up on one of the sites or apps and make a little cash for yourself! 😉
Skip the goody bags. I’ve definitely done my share of “goody bagging,” however they always seem like such a waste. What mom really wants yet ANOTHER bag full of dollar store
stuff junk and candy to come with their child from a birthday party? If you don’t want to skip goody bags altogether, maybe just pick one item like bubbles, chalk, or crayons that a child would definitely put to good use. Or, as I mentioned earlier, use Pinterest to find an idea for a cheap and useful DIY take home treat!
As Moms I think it’s so easy to get sucked into looking at social media posts and thinking we have to have the most extravagant parties for our children. When it’s all said and done, our kids just want to feel loved and celebrated!